Please Don't Let This Character Recur

Just finished Careless in Red by Elizabeth George. As usual the pace and tension picked up considerably half-way through so the pages flew by. Havers showed up and she didn't get on my nerves once which made me realize that Lynley and Havers are at their best interacting with each other. Havers on her own pondering her own life is just plain dreary, not informatively literarily dreary but drab pointless dreary.

It's possible that Havers was so welcome because Daidre Trahair was around and becoming progressively creepier. I fear that Elizabeth George means Daidre to be strong, conflicted and mysterious and, ohgodletmebewrong, a new love interest for Thomas Lynley.

I'm going to try to forgo a rant about how tacky it is to have a woman get all turned on by a man who's wife has been dead less than six months. Really, I can do this. But I'm not going to give a pass on how wrong George gets this character. I have a low tolerance for characters who create their own problems, get all pissy about the problems existing, and are never held to account. Daidre hits the trifecta. First she pointlessly lies to the police, setting herself up for suspicion, then she gets all huffy because the police investigate her and, worst and finally, she gets all stalkery with Lynley. Let me be clear, she gets pissy because the police investigate her background but she goes trolling on the internet for information on Lynley after knowing him less than 24 hours. She hangs out in front of his hotel waiting for him to emerge - you know, stalking him.

She's repulsive all around: to the other police, to her "friend" Aldara, and to her family. She lies when a vague socially correct answer would do. Or, a simple, I'd rather not say, would be better. It never once makes any sense why she lies, for instance, about not knowing the deceased. "I've seen him around town" would have done just fine. For some reason Elizabeth George seems to think that Daidre's conflict - she was adopted and had a good life while her siblings and family did not - is very interesting. It's not. It's dead dull. And if she's thinking that the dull Daidre will make a perfect love interest for Lynley - who practically begs (twice!) for this cow to call him "Tommy" for some weird reason and, natch, the heffer refuses - she's not only indulging in some seriously bad taste she's losing sight of what made this series a success.

No, I don't mean that it's all about people being terribly upper crust in an American's idea of what the British upper class are like. It's always been about people who know each other and themselves very well yet never quite as well as they think. Adding a lying liar who lies into the mix won't spice things up, it will ruin the dish entirely.

No comments: